What women want from work in 2023

Since the pandemic, women have been rethinking the place of work in their lives, which means companies may have to rethink their methods of recruiting and retaining them. And according to Monster’s latest worker poll, women put fair pay, career growth and female mentorship at the top of their benefits lists.

Here’s what women are valuing at work this year, based on our poll data:

Equitable pay

A clear majority (82%) of women choose “fair and equal wages” as the benefit they value most in the workplace, according to Monster’s poll, and only 24% of women believe that men and women are paid the same where they work.

In some states, new pay transparency laws are bringing this issue to the forefront as employers are required to post pay ranges in job advertisements or provide pay ranges to internal employees who request it. Some employers are proactively making the information available to help level the playing field, and conducting pay audits to keep themselves on track.

“One of my clients just worked with a consulting firm to go through all their pay and look at pay equity, and they had to make massive changes,” says MaryBeth Hyland, a workplace-culture consultant and founder of SparkVision. “The majority of people getting the highest pay had to do with how long they were there and not the impact of their work. They had to shift a lot of the old ways of thinking, because there was a huge discrepancy with men versus women and with tenure versus impact.”

Growth opportunities

Two-thirds (63%) of women value “a clear vision for the future of their career,” and 69% of women would consider turning down a job offer if the company lacked career growth opportunities for women. Only 23% of women think all employees at their current company receive the same quality and quantity of opportunities.

This is a good note for companies interviewing new talent – be clear about where women can go at your firm. “You can say, ‘This is how we plan to outline your career growth,’” says Monster career expert Vicki Salemi. “‘Here’s your one-year, two-year, five-year plan.’ So they see there are intentions behind it. That’s what they’re looking for, ultimately.”

Female representation

Nearly a third (31%) of women say they value female mentors in the workplace, and 45% said they’d consider turning down a job offer if the company lacked either female leaders or female employees.

This might feel like a chicken and egg problem — if you need women to attract women, what do you do if you have fewer women? It’s important to have a strategy. If you don’t have many women in leadership positions, for instance, let applicants know what steps you’re taking to address it.

“It’s a matter of being proactive with candidates and saying, ‘Right now we have 10 people in our C-suite and two who are women,” Salemi says. “‘This is how we plan to groom the current management team so women have a seat at the table.”

It’s also important to be able to show that you’re putting time and money into women-oriented talent outcomes. “Where are we showing up?” says Darcy Eikenberg, an executive and leadership coach at Red Cape Revolution. “Are we investing in attending events that specialize in women in STEM? Can we tell a story about spending X amount of dollars on a women’s development program, and what the outcome of that is? If there’s not the investment to begin with, you can’t expect a return.”

Family benefits/flexibility 

A quarter of women said they value maternity leave and/or childcare benefits, and another 11% said they value fertility and/or family planning services. Thirty-seven percent said they’d consider turning down a job offer if the company lacked adequate flexibility for working parents, and another 30% said they might walk for lack of adequate parental leave or childcare benefits.

“There’s so much research showing how many women dropped out of the workplace during the pandemic because of the childcare situation,” Hyland says. “It created an opportunity for many companies to start to understand what it looks like to be flexible.”

In many cases, flexibility and family benefits go hand-in-hand, since offering flexible scheduling, remote work or a four-day work week could enable female employees to better manage the work-life juggle. “Companies will see that if working parents don’t have the flexibility they need, there are other employers that will offer it,” Salemi says.

How Employer Branding Can Supercharge Your DE&I Initiatives in 2023

Today’s candidates make up America’s most diverse workforce in terms of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and more. For instance, did you know:

With such a diverse labor force, it’s not surprising that so many candidates care about a company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives when deciding where they want to work. Yet, Monster’s Future of Work survey identified a major disconnect between candidates and employers when it comes to DE&I. Just 5% of all recruiters rated DE&I efforts as one of their top three priorities. Meanwhile, learning about a company’s DE&I efforts has consistently ranked as a top priority for candidates in the last three years.

Without effective messaging on diversity efforts, employers will increasingly be out of the running when it comes to hiring top talent. That’s not a problem you want to have in today’s already tough economic climate. More than ever, employer branding (paired with real action) will be key to driving diversity initiatives in 2023.

Why DE&I Matters in Employer Branding

Not only is today’s applicant pool more diverse, but these candidates also have a wealth of information about potential employers available at their fingertips. From social media and review platforms to employer value propositions and mission statements, you can bet that candidates are looking to see if you offer an inclusive, welcoming environment. Just consider these recent findings from Monster:

  • 86% of job seekers say they factor an employer’s reputation on DE&I in their job search.
  • 70% of employees expect their employer to be transparent about DE&I initiatives and results.
  • 62% of job applicants say they would turn down an offer from a company that did not support DE&I.

“More than ever, candidates and employees are seeking transparency and action from companies, not empty promises,” says Traci Wilk, chief people officer at The Learning Experience. “Candidates want to know how diversity and inclusion is reflected in a company’s processes, policies, and organizational framework.”

Promoting DE&I in Employer Branding

Incorporating DE&I within your employer branding strategy can help employers move the needle when it comes to diversity hiring policies and initiatives. “Promoting diversity initiatives through branding can positively impact recruiting and retaining employees,” says Amy Casciotti, vice president of human resources at TechSmith. “If a prospective employee sees a company is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment, they may feel more inclined to apply for a job with that organization. In turn, this creates a more diverse pool of job applicants and potential employees.”

Here are a few ways you can effectively communicate your commitment to DE&I within employer branding:

Employer Value Proposition

An employer value proposition is a promise of what you will give to your employees in return for their time, loyalty, and productivity. It’s also a great place to clarify what your company stands for, its values, and what its organizational culture is like.

“Incorporating DE&I into the EVP sends a clear message that the company values and prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion,” says Sven Patzer, chief executive officer at Sveny Corp. “Employers can communicate their commitment to DE&I by highlighting specific initiatives, policies, and programs that support diversity and equity in the workplace. They can also share stories and testimonials from diverse employees to show that DE&I is a lived value at the company.”

Job Descriptions

Job ads are often a candidate’s first impression of your company. At minimum, make sure that every job listing includes an equal employer opportunity (EEO) statement. Using inclusive language that is free of unconscious bias can also help encourage applicants from underrepresented groups.

In addition to job ads, be sure to update all candidate communications, application tests and forms, and the career section on your company website, to make sure they are promoting an inclusive workplace.

Social Media

Social media channels allow you to show and tell real stories in real time. Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even TikTok, can help validate the claims you make online. Creating a social media presence allows candidates to follow and watch your company in action to get a better feel for your culture and values.

Real Action

If your DE&I practices don’t match your messaging, you can expect top applicants to take notice. “Demonstrating commitment to DE&I goes beyond messaging,” Patzer says. “Employers can take concrete steps, such as offering diversity and inclusion training, setting diversity hiring goals, and regularly reviewing and revising policies and practices to ensure they promote equity and inclusivity.”

Additionally, employers can consider getting involved with community organizations, supporting social justice issues, or creating employee resource groups (ERGs) to demonstrate a commitment to DE&I.

Learn More About Employer Branding

From conveying your company’s commitment to diversity hiring and DE&I values to perfecting your messaging on sustainability and work-life balance, Monster’s Employer Branding Guide can answer all your questions about how to devise a branding strategy for today’s job market. Download today to learn more.

Quiet Hiring: Is it an Opportunity or Overwhelming for Employees?

Eight out of ten workers have been “quiet hired,” according to a Monster poll conducted among workers in January. Quiet hiring occurs when an employee moves into a new role with new responsibilities at their company — either short-term or permanently — due to need. 

“I think companies are being much more strategic about not adding headcount,” says Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, N.Y. “Employees are the biggest asset and cost to an organization, so if they can find ways to streamline and do more with less, they can do that. It’s up to the employee to see if they want to stay.” 

Here’s what workers have to say about quiet hiring:

It’s not always a great match

Half of workers who have been quiet hired said the new role wasn’t aligned with their skill set, according to Monster’s poll. Job experts say this doesn’t seem like the best strategy.

“That tells me the company just needs a warm body in that space, and good luck to you figuring out how to do it, which I don’t think is great for anybody, frankly,” says Laura MacLeod, an HR expert and consultant with From The Inside Out Project, an employee-morale company. “That has a ripple effect. My morale now is down, and I share that with other people, and maybe I’m on another team now where people resent that because I don’t know what I’m doing. I think that’s hugely problematic.”

Workers are mostly open to the idea

Even though it wasn’t the role they’d signed up for, 63% of workers say they view quiet hiring as an opportunity to learn new skills, and 19% are open to taking on a new role as long as it’s temporary.

“I could see a lot of scenarios where this could be a good thing for the employee,” says Mikaela Kiner, founder and CEO at Reverb, an HR consulting firm. “It’s a new opportunity, new visibility, maybe new work that’s going to bring new skills.” 

That said, MacLeod reminds employers that if they do this to workers, they should be prepared to help them bridge the gap. “I doubt that anybody is really teaching them new skills,” she says. “Who has time for that, and who is really doing that?” 

Quiet hiring leads workers to question their company

Slightly more than one in four workers (27%) say they’d wonder whether their company was going out of business if they were quiet hired. Forty-one percent would view the company as disorganized, with unclear vision.

In an era where layoff news seems to hit every other day, it’s not surprising that quiet hiring makes employees nervous. “On the one hand, people are being reduced, and on the other hand, suddenly there’s more work on your plate and nobody has recognized or rewarded you for it,” Kiner says. “And it’s not clear to me how this is part of company strategy. I could absolutely see that as something that would really give people anxiety.”

Company communication is key to managing these worries. “If there’s fear the company is going out of business, you’ve got to address that head on,” Burr says. “It’s beholden on leadership to reinforce the viability of the organization. You need to have that conversation up front and be completely transparent.” 

Some workers would consider leaving

Slightly more than a quarter of workers (27%) say they’d consider quitting if they were quiet hired, and 4% would leave immediately. Other findings:

  • 39% wouldn’t quit and view quiet hiring as an opportunity to spread their wings
  • 16% wouldn’t quit, as long as the new role was temporary
  • 15% wouldn’t quit, but only because their “hands are tied” 

Monster career expert Vicki Salemi thinks many stay-or-go sentiments come down to how a company handles the move.

“Have a transparent conversation with departments as well as individuals, so it’s a one-on-one conversation with the performance manager and the person being asked,” Salemi says. “‘So-and-so left, and we’re dividing these tasks between three different people, and this will help you grow into XYZ.’ This data is very valuable for people to know.” 

And best practice, experts say, is to make sure you’re compensating people who are being asked to increase their workload. Says Burr, “I would always encourage employers to pay people more money if you’re asking them to take on additional responsibilities.”

Drive Growth With a Phenomenal Candidate Experience

By Alison Goldman

Are you struggling to convert top talent into hires?

Many staffing firms have numerous open orders, and simply not enough candidates to fill them all. Despite a difficult economy, the labor market remains tight, with Bureau of Labor Statistics data reporting two open jobs for every unemployed worker in the U.S. Changes in job seeker behavior add new challenges, such as “ghosting.” To be “ghosted” by a candidate means that at some point during the recruiting or interviewing process, they disappeared without a trace or explanation. According to a recent Monster survey, about three-quarters of recruiters say they’ve been ghosted, and nearly half (47%) of candidates admit to ghosting.

To understand ghosting, you must consider the generational makeup of today’s candidates. According to the World Economic Forum, Millennials make up about 37% of today’s available workforce, with Generation Z contributing an additional 61 million workers. Our survey found these cohorts to be the most skeptical candidates, with a combined 54% of candidates distrustful of promises that companies make about job expectations, benefits, perks, and culture. Our data also shows that these generations place a high importance on company culture, further amplifying this sentiment. Candidates may only make it halfway through the process if they don’t trust or value the opportunity they are presented.

Your best weapon against ghosting is a great candidate experience

An investment in a great candidate experience can push candidates through the funnel faster, increase conversion rates, and boost recruiter productivity. Recruiting is still a very human business, and your team’s greatest asset is their time. That time is better spent with candidates who are likely to complete their application because they trust the job opportunity, believe in your firm, and understand how you can help their career. Staffing agencies that invest time in explaining to candidates who they are and how they can help are successfully winning job seeker confidence and building stronger rapport.

One workforce solutions firm that understands the value of great candidate experience is Nesco Resource. “Now more than ever, employers are competing for candidates’ attention. A positive impression from application to onboarding is crucial to finding (and keeping!) talent in a crunched market,” says Anastasia Fete, vice president of marketing at Nesco Resource. “We believe that by reducing friction throughout the hiring process, we set the tone for a successful placement.” Kevin Hatgas, director of digital marketing at Nesco Resource, says “Job seekers are increasingly mobile-first. When we looked to redesign our website in early 2022, the top priority was ensuring that job seekers could easily and quickly find and apply to open positions no matter what device they are using. By keeping that experience top of mind, we were able to improve overall traffic, online application rates, and get more people working”.

The Fountain Group has also focused its sites on building trust, adding FAQs to enhance process clarity, and leveraging Google reviews from real job seekers. “We are extremely proud of and grateful for the positive reviews our contractors and clients took the time to post about The Fountain Group on Google. We believe that highlighting those positive experiences on our website provides additional credibility to our proclamation that TFG truly is “Your Ally in the Quest for Workforce Success” says Kelly Cone, president. Adding third party reviews and providing visibility into who you are and how your process works, conveys your firm’s confidence in your work, legitimizes your firm to skeptical seekers, and ensures they get the message: We can help you achieve your goals!

Monster has been a pioneer in online recruiting since 1994

Many of our staffing clients have turned to us for candidate experience and employer branding help. If you would like more information on the resources available or a complimentary audit of your career site, contact me at alison.goldman@monster.com.

Alison Goldman is team lead and strategic account manager at Monster. This article was previously published in the American Staffing Association’s “Staffing Success” magazine in December 2022.

Monster Poll: What candidates are expecting in 2023

This could be a good year for companies seeking new talent: Nearly everyone (96%) in a new Monster poll said they’re currently looking or plan to look for a job in 2023.

Why jump jobs? Many are on the hunt because they need a higher income (40%), they’re unemployed (40%), or there’s no room for growth in their current role (34%).

“Everybody is thinking about making changes,” says Jill Santopietro Panall, owner and chief consultant of 21Oak HR Consulting. “It’s resolution time, and as we get into the fourth year of the pandemic, I think people are just worn out. If you’ve been in a job you feel didn’t support you along the way, you’re really jonesing to get out now.”

Here’s what Monster heard from 2023 job seekers:

Workers are ready for a change

The vast majority of employees want out — and experts aren’t surprised, particularly given the lack of mobility during the pandemic.

“A lot of companies have put all their training, learning and development on hold for the last couple of years,” says Todd Cherches, CEO and co-founder of executive coaching firm BigBlueGumball. “Even within companies, a lot of times people haven’t had promotions or raises in a long time. Everyone put their lives on hold for two years and all of a sudden, the floodgates have opened.”

Bad bosses are losing workers

Of respondents looking for a new career, a quarter (26%) want to make a move due to a toxic workplace. “I’m surprised it’s so low,” Cherches says. This is particularly true, he says, now that more people work remotely.

“If you’re working from home, that toxicity permeates your home,” he says. “And the whole hybrid thing is really challenging. When everyone was in the office that was one thing. Now there’s complete chaos.”

Panall also finds that number lower than expected. “I think there are a lot of places that are running off a very outdated model,” she says.

Job seekers are nervous about finding a new job

Monster found that two-thirds (66%) of respondents think it will be difficult to find a new job in 2023 due to the state of the economy. But job seeker struggles will likely vary by industry. Consider that Amazon recently announced it was laying off 18,000 workers, while a Seattle aircraft manufacturing plant made the news for its pivot to hire workers with criminal records due to a labor shortage.

“A lot of skills have become obsolete where there are new skills that are needed out there,” Cherches says. “The Great Reshuffling is a great analogy. The deck is being reshuffled.”

Workers are expecting more money

Not quite half (45%) of respondents expect a higher salary due to inflation and the increased cost of living. Experts think this may be optimism at work.

“I think it’s more hoping and wishing for a higher salary, but companies are being hit by inflation too,” Cherches says. “So even though prices are going up, it’s not like profits are universally going up. I think that might not be a realistic expectation.”

That said, with so many employees looking to leave because of salary concerns and so many companies looking for good talent, it’s smart for companies to find ways to make themselves attractive. “They shouldn’t get complacent,” says Monster career expert Vicki Salemi. “They still need to be prepared to be focused on their marketing. Because even though job seekers may feel they’re unemployed so they need to accept a job offer, as soon as the industry picks up hiring again, they may leave.”

Seekers worry about job hopping and resume gaps

When respondents were asked to identify resume red flags for recruiters, they pointed to job hopping (56%) and gaps on a resume (54%). In many cases though, the pandemic has made it easier for employers to make peace with both things.

“I’m not as concerned about job hopping as long as I can see the growth and progress I want to see,” Panall says. “I’m more concerned by someone who’s had a bunch of very short jobs of the same level for years in a row, versus someone who was like, ‘I was here for a couple of years and then I moved to another place where I had a higher title.’”

Salemi, a former corporate recruiter, concurs — neither item is a red flag as long as there’s a good explanation to go along with it. “Employers should not just skip over it,” she says. “That should be one of the first things they ask about.”

Monster Poll: Workers Want Pay Transparency

It used to be that salary negotiation was the last step in a lengthy application process. But state laws are putting salary disclosure front and center, with five states now requiring employers to share pay transparency, and two more states coming on board in 2023.

Employers take note. According to a new Monster poll, nearly all workers (98%) believe companies should put salary ranges in job postings, and more than half (53%) would decide not to apply for a job that doesn’t.

“People expect to see a salary range in a job posting, and it makes sense,” says Bryan Driscoll, a lawyer and HR consultant in Orlando, Fla. “If a company only wants to pay half of what I want, let’s not waste either of our time, right?”

That said, companies aren’t necessarily racing to comply.

“Some companies believe that disclosing salaries will turn off potential candidates, as they may worry that the salary offered is too low or too high,” says Michelle Hague, HR manager at solar panel installer Solar Panels Network USA. “Ultimately, the answer depends on a number of factors, including industry trends and state laws.”

Here’s where the situation stands.

Pay Transparency Laws Vary by State

In the U.S., employers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, and New York (New York City, specifically) are required to disclose base compensation to job seekers, says Vicki Salemi, a career expert for Monster. And Rhode Island and Washington will follow suit in January 2023. But the laws aren’t uniform across states.

“Requirements can be quite different between jurisdictions,” Salemi says. “For instance, in Colorado, employers are required to list the pay range and benefits for every job opening, whereas in Maryland, employers must provide pay ranges to candidates upon request.”

Differing state laws can make it difficult for companies located in multiple states to comply. “This is absolutely one issue that’s driving companies mad,” Driscoll says. “If a company is fully remote and they want to post a job online, how do they comply with the laws in states like California where they may not have any employees yet? It’s a constant juggle.”

Salary Is Important, but So Is Work-Life Balance

Monster found that six in ten workers (61%) say salary is their top consideration when looking for a new job. But other workers say they place things like work-life balance (16%) and benefits and perks (7%) at the top of their list.

For applicants looking for the full salary lowdown, pay transparency laws haven’t ironed out all of the wrinkles yet. “What I’ve noticed is that companies do not share the full compensation picture on their job postings,” says Brandon Bramley, founder of The Salary Negotiator, a salary negotiation coaching company. “They will usually only list the base salary range or a target compensation for the role. This confuses job seekers because they do not have visibility into the total compensation.”

Workers are Optimistic About the Future of Pay Transparency

More than half of workers (53%) think pay transparency will eventually result in salary equity and smaller or no pay gaps, according to Monster’s data, and 43% think it will lead to higher pay overall for workers.

In general, salary disclosure in job ads may lead to a better match, attracting candidates who are better suited for the role and more likely to be satisfied in their position, says Linda Shaffer, chief people and operations officer at background check company Checkr. “As such, it is an important issue that HR professionals need to carefully consider when crafting job postings and managing their recruitment process.”

Pay Transparency Gives Workers Leverage

Four in ten workers say that if they see a job posting for their position or a similar one from their employer with higher pay, they’d use it as leverage to get a raise, according to Monster’s poll. And if a company violates salary disclosure laws, more than three-quarters (77%) of workers would consider reporting them.

Then, of course, there’s the leverage that pay transparency lends to the job seeking process. “It’s another criteria for a job applicant to reject a company before going down the application rabbit hole,” Driscoll says. “It definitely puts a little more power in the applicant’s hands, but I think that levels the playing field.”

As more states enact laws, companies will have to learn to deal with pay transparency requirements. Employers posting jobs in states and cities with salary disclosure laws should include a salary range on job postings. (This includes remote jobs.)

Employers in states without laws (yet) might take this chance to get ahead of the curve and proactively post salary info. Monster, for instance, has published salaries for all U.S. based jobs at Monster.

“Ultimately, while some employers may continue to resist this trend, many others will likely embrace it in order to attract the best talent,” Hague says. “As a result, we can expect to see continued changes in hiring practices as employers adapt to the evolving landscape of salary disclosure.”

Are Extra Company Perks Disappearing?

During the pandemic, companies had to rethink worker benefits. The nature of work changed, the workplace changed, and the things that workers found valuable shifted. Nearly all (98%) of companies reported plans for at least one form of benefit expansion, according to a 2021 Care.com survey.

It’s been a time of intense competition for talent and one of the most stressful work environments many people have ever experienced. Employers started offering extras like company-wide mental health days, work-from-home stipends, and flexible hours to accommodate caregiving.

But with inflation at 9% in June and some big companies announcing layoffs, experts are watching to see whether employers keep their benefits extras.

“I think it depends on what type of company it is and what its goals are when it comes to human resources,” says Caitlyn Parish, CEO, and founder of retail company Cicinia. “If they value a happy, mentally healthy employee, I don’t think they’ll take away such perks.”

Here are some factors affecting these decisions:

Companies are desperate for workers

While the economy has made things tight in some sectors, employers still need people to do the work. “The clients that I manage are not scaling back their benefits to employees based on inflation,” says Heather Summers, senior manager of human resources at Flex HR. “In fact, they are making their benefits more attractive to fill their open positions.”

That sentiment is echoed by Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, N.Y.: “I think compensation is actually higher,” Burr says. “They’re still paying people more money because they’re trying to get people to come to work. Labor still has the upper hand.”

Even if a company’s bottom line is suffering, employers may choose to keep benefits and subtract from other expenses. “They may be cutting in other areas, but from my experience, they’re still desperate to get their pipelines filled from an employment perspective,” says Jenna Squires, president of World Payroll & HR. “They’re still dangling all the carrots.”

Employee retention is key

Employee benefits aren’t just about attracting great hires — they’re also about keeping the great talent you have. Sixty percent of workers said their companies’ retirement benefits were a big reason they stayed at that company, according to the 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey by consultancy WTW. In a competitive landscape, shrinking benefits can lead workers to jump ship for companies offering better packages.

“We have concluded that pulling back such offers would diminish our bonds with our workforce, and ultimately reduce employee satisfaction rates,” says Lorie Carson, founder and marketing manager of search site Real People Finder.

Moreover, in some companies, benefits managers are still debating about how to boost perks to meet employee needs.

“A lot of my clients are still looking to add stuff,” says Jill Santopietro Panall, owner and chief consultant of 21Oak HR Consulting. “I’m frequently reaching out to them and hearing, ‘Can I have a corporate wellness person come in to talk about stress in the workplace?’ ‘How do I get an EAP?’”

The bottom line

Jobs growth was still strong in July, but the fact is, the future is uncertain. Higher prices will affect some businesses and require some pullback to stay afloat.

In the meantime, though, many companies are still talking a big benefits game. “I’ve seen an addition of a lot of mental health days or flex days off,” Squires says. “There’s still an uptick in trying to figure out those things for work-life balance. I definitely haven’t seen where those trends are stopping.”

Four Reasons Candidates Are Ghosting You

About three-quarters of recruiters say they’ve been ghosted by a candidate, and nearly half (47%) of candidates admit to ghosting potential employers, according to a recent Monster survey. That means that at some point during the recruiting or interviewing process, nearly half of the candidates disappeared without a trace or an explanation.

“I’ve seen people literally set up an interview and just not show up for it,” says Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, NY. “Labor is in such demand that people have options. They’re going to pick and choose and probably put in a number of resumes with organizations.”

Candidates have a variety of reasons for ghosting. Monster’s latest survey of 1,000 Gen Z job candidates found the top four reasons they gave for ghosting. Below are their responses and expert tips on what companies can do to keep Gen Z talent on board.

#1 Employers were rude or misleading

About a third (31%) of job candidates say they disappeared because the recruiter or the hiring manager was rude, or lied to them about the position, according to Monster data. In the war for talent, mistreating job seekers is risky business.

“I’ve had that happen to me before, where I took a job that promised 25% travel or less,” Burr says. “I got into the job, and it was 99% travel. I resigned after six months.”

For best results, recruiters must be transparent about job responsibilities and company culture. If you gloss over the less glamorous parts of the position or any company issues you’re having, you leave yourself open to a poor hiring experience. Recent Monster data revealed that nearly a quarter of candidates are skeptical of what is promised in a job ad. “You’ve got to be completely honest with people in the job ad and in the interview to make sure it’s a fit,” Burr says. “If you hire the wrong person, it’s not going to last.”

#2 Recruiters took too long

In 29% of cases, candidates say they ghosted because the recruiter or hiring manager took too long to get back to them. Gen Z is a generation that expects and values immediacy, so leaving them on the hook can backfire.

“Recruiters and business owners are slow at times in picking up the phone and calling a candidate,” Burr says. “In my opinion, if you get someone decent to apply, you’ve got to get someone on the phone in 24 to 48 hours setting up an interview.”

In a labor market where entry-level talent is in high demand, taking too long at any stage of the hiring process can lead a candidate to jump on another job offer. The more companies can streamline their processes and make sure they’re being responsive to candidates, the better their chances of getting job seekers to the finish line.

#3 The process felt impersonal

Twenty-three percent of candidates say they ghosted because the job process felt impersonal. The combination of many companies relying on artificial intelligence for parts of the process and, in many cases, not responding at all to applications leaves Gen Z feeling like they aren’t connecting with real human beings.

“Gen Z are the feedback generation,” says Todd Cherches, CEO and co-founder of executive coaching firm BigBlueGumball. “It’s not necessarily about money, it’s about feeling validated and feeling special and feeling chosen. If you treat people like cogs in a machine, they’re going to feel that way and act that way.”

That means staying in touch with candidates throughout the process, letting them know when you’ve received applications and other materials, and telling them when/if you hire someone else for the role. “One of the most important pieces is to send that rejection note so people know they’re not an applicant and they know you appreciate them applying for the job,” Burr says.

#4 Employers are asking for too much

Forty percent of college grads say that employers asking for multiple years of experience for an entry-level position is the most frustrating part of the job search.

“If it’s an entry-level hire, a lot of what we have to do is educate our clients as to what that means,” says Bill Nichols, practice director for Robert Half. “If you want an entry-level hire, we’re really recruiting around expectations, and a lot of it is soft skills. Sure, do they have some internship experience? But part of taking a chance on a hire is what that person could be.”

Companies that are more understanding of what it means to invest in the right talent and have good training in place will have an easier time recruiting the Gen Z crowd.

“At some point, the pendulum will swing back in favor of companies,” Cherches says. “But until then — and hopefully beyond — recruiters, HR people, and hiring managers will realize that in today’s post-pandemic hybrid workplace, they need to take a more personalized and interpersonal approach to dealing with people if they want to be treated that way in return.”

Find the Right Candidates

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Tackling Mental Health and Wellness At Work

The last two years have been incredibly stressful, by anyone’s standards. Anxiety and depression are up worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. And maybe not surprisingly, nine in 10 (91%) Gen Z candidates say it’s important for them to be comfortable discussing mental wellness at work, according to Monster’s latest Gen Z Survey.

It’s also worth noting that 47% of employees say they’re more stressed since the pandemic and need to make changes with their life, according to Randstad’s Workmonitor survey. Thirty-four percent of candidates want a job with manageable stress levels, and 40% of Gen Z candidates would rather be unemployed than unhappy in a job.

“We might say that the impact on our mental health is the second act of the pandemic, and that’s not going away anytime soon,” says Laura Putnam, CEO and founder of well-being consulting firm Motion Infusion, and author of Workplace Wellness that Works. “In fact, there’s often a delayed effect.”

With that in mind, it’s more important than ever for companies to make employee mental health a priority. Here’s how employers can make sure they’re offering what candidates and employees need:

Encourage movement

Research has found that when people move, not only do they get healthier, they get happier. Movement can prevent and even treat anxiety.

“When we move, it is as effective as Zoloft for treating depression,” Putnam says. “But another study found that movement actually primes us to connect with others. So there’s a lot of power in very simple rituals, like converting a Zoom meeting to a walking meeting.”

Organize a lunchtime walking club, or create annual or recurring step challenges. Urge employees to take the stairs. “When individuals move physically and exercise, their bodies produce endorphins,” says Awstin Gregg, a therapist and CEO at Connections Wellness Group, a Texas company offering psychiatry, counseling and therapy. “These are the body’s ‘feel good’ chemicals, which help to directly offset the consequences that stress can have on the body.”

Help employees make connections

When people feel connected at work, everyone benefits. Studies show that there’s a link between having a best friend at work, for example, and an employee’s level of effort and engagement.

The same goes for teams. “On a team where there’s a high level of trust, they are 12 times more likely to be a high performing, highly engaged team,” Putnam says. “So I often encourage organizations to think beyond programs and challenges, and to think more about how they can implement rituals, particularly team by team, led by the manager, that start to embed well-being as a way of life.”

Offer flexibility

“A large Harvard study found that as we move up in an organization, while our responsibility levels go up, our stress levels actually go down,” Putnam says. “The reason: We have a greater perceived sense of control over how we spend our time.”

In other words, flexibility is a key mental health support. This meshes with Monster’s finding that job candidates — 34% of college graduates and 28% of non-college grads — say that flexible schedule options are the job perk they’re most interested in.

“If we want to meaningfully help employees better manage their stress, one of the most powerful ways is to provide more opportunities for flexibility in how the work gets done,” Putnam says.

Create follow-through

For leaders advocating for wellness in the workplace, actions speak volumes. Celebrate when people use their PTO, for instance, instead of implying that it’s preferable for employees to show up every day. Laud C-suite employees who are taking vacations and sabbaticals, and follow up with employees who aren’t using their time off.

Another method: Incentivize healthy behaviors and create employee programs designed to praise healthy habits. “For an organization to turn the corner with follow-through, it will require some intentionally altered perspectives on the ‘way things have always been,’” Gregg says. “The truth is that mental health challenges are becoming more common than the common cold.”

Hold up a mirror

If employees are suffering from stress and burnout, an employer may need to take a hard look at their organization to determine the root cause. Is it the employee? Or is it the workplace itself?

“If we look at something like healthcare, one of the biggest drivers of burnout is patient overload,” Putnam says. “And a lot of these healthcare organizations, seeking to maximize their profits, have increased the patient load even before COVID hit. So this naturally creates a scenario in which, just because of workload, no matter how much yoga or mindfulness these individuals may be practicing, they’re going to be burned out.”

Encourage basic self-care

On the heels of pandemic stress, a large majority (83%) of workers are worried that the situation in Ukraine will impact the U.S. economy, according to Monster’s data. This kind of worry and anxiety can be overwhelming.

One thing employers can do is acknowledge that these are stressful times. And then urge workers to take care of themselves in general. “Eat, move, sleep,” Putnam says. “I love the quote that ‘The bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.’ We cannot overestimate the importance of the basics right now.”

While there are existential threats to fear, Putnam says, people can control their reactions to them: “While we may have little or not control over the circumstances in our lives, we have infinite power as to how we respond to those circumstances.”

Be ready to talk about mental health and more at work

The new generation of workers are saying loud and clear that they want to be able to talk about mental health and wellness at work, but they also want more salary transparency, a more flexible workplace and career stability. Learn what else they’re looking for in Monster’s latest Gen Z Report.


6 ways to support your working parent employees

In year three of the pandemic, working parents are still struggling. According to Pew Research, about half of them said the pandemic has made it harder to manage childcare responsibilities. Working mothers in particular, reported experiencing professional hurdles such as feeling like they couldn’t give 100% at work or needing to reduce their work hours due to parenting responsibilities.

Even as the country largely returns to pre-COVID protocols, working parents and employees with family responsibilities are still dealing with COVID complications, such as long absences from work and school when someone in the family gets COVID. This is in addition to everything else that parents and caregivers are juggling.

If you’re looking for ways to retain and support your talented parent and caregiver employees, here are some benefits you might consider:


It can’t be stated enough: flexibility is crucial for anyone managing responsibilities outside of work, whether that’s children, aging parents, or even a pet. Unless you’re a business that requires dealing with customers or on-site work, giving employees the freedom to complete their work on a schedule that works for them is a key benefit.

“Offering things like flexible hours, telecommuting, and condensed work weeks can make a big difference,” says Linda Shaffer, chief people and operations officer at Checkr, an HR technology platform. “At Checkr, we offer flexible start and end times, allowing people to work around their children’s schedules. We also have a remote work policy, which allows parents to work from home when needed.”

A Remote Work Stipend

A stipend that allows your workers to purchase supplies that make it easier for them to work remotely can increase their efficiency at home and make things easier. For instance, a parent working from home could benefit from things like a divider, noise-canceling headphones, a good microphone, or even a seat cushion that makes their chair more comfortable.

“I love when I see companies saying, ‘Find a quiet place in your home to work,’” says Jill Santopietro Panall, a human resources consultant at 21Oak HR Consulting. “If you have three or four children, that’s not a thing. What does that person need?”

Flexible Sick Time or COVID Days

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, and with COVID absences requiring at least five days at home, workers can go through their sick days in record time. For instance, an employee may have to leave work just to pick up a child from school who’s tested positive for COVID.

“In some cases, companies are adding a little time that’s only for COVID,” Panall says. “It’s not extra time — it’s so they’re not getting killed on using their sick time when COVID keeps popping back up.”

A Working Parents ERG

Employee resource groups help different sets of people at a company feel connected and can strengthen employee engagement. An ERG for working parents can go a long way toward creating a supportive culture at your company. Monster, for instance, recently introduced a Parents and Caregivers ERG.

“Providing a safe space where employees can be their authentic selves and discuss how to better support and educate their workplace is highly effective,” says Adam Selita, CEO and cofounder of The Debt Relief Company. “ERGs have also been proven to help improve workplace satisfaction, as well as improve workplace conditions for employees who might feel marginalized.”

Child Care Support

Child care is a challenge for many working parents. Still, as recently as January 2020, only 6% of firms offered any child care benefits, according to a survey by B2B ratings platform Clutch. There are various ways to do this, including offering child care subsidies, backup child care assistance, or flexible child care spending accounts.

“Daycare is a big issue,” says Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, N.Y. “Is there an option to put a daycare center in your organization? As a perk or incentive? All those things are opportunities.”

Money Toward Education

If you have the means, offering benefits that can be used to pay for education can go a long way. According to data from Willis Towers Watson, an increasing number of companies are considering offering benefits like tuition reimbursement, student loan refinancing or 529 contributions this year or next.

“I just reviewed an offer letter from a friend who’s going to a company that had monthly deposits you can use toward your own student loans or your college student’s tuition,” Panall says. “That really says, ‘We’re digging deep.’ That’s for companies with bigger, deeper pockets, but that’s such a hot topic right now.”

Showing You Value Your Parent and Caregiver Employees

The more you can show that you value your parent and caregiver employees, the better your chances of hiring and retaining great talent. “I think there’s been an evolution, and people’s expectations and demands are going to change,” Burr says. “If you’re not offering me what I need, I’m going to get on the Internet and find something different.”